Note 15, Chapter 4 of the author's Christina Rossetti in Context which the University of North Carolina Press published in 1988. It appears in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.
Packer also traces the image of the revered but dreaded lover in "My Dream" (1859) to Plato's Phaedrus as well as to Shelley (p. 94). Later, in commenting on "Mirrors of Life and Death," she quite correctly remarks that for Christina Rossetti, "The external world of nature symbolizes the inner world of the spirit. Christina visualizes [208/209] 'the two worlds, visible and invisible' as 'doubling' against each other,' 'Wind, water, fire, the sun, a star, a vine, a door, a lamb ... will shadow forth mysteries' ' This Platonic conception of nature providing an endless series of 'terrene mirrors', as images of a nonsensuous; reality is [her] theme" in this poem (p. 316).
Last modified 24 June 2007